As we wait for the state’s release of the School Performance Profiles, we saw today the first story in a timely series by LNP on the growing diversity in Lancaster County’s schools. I tweeted about both today for a reason—they are related. And they need to be balanced.
If you follow us on Twitter, you may have seen a special announcement yesterday about a new online store for officially-licensed Conestoga Valley apparel. I want to encourage everyone in the CV community to check it out! There is a link on our homepage, or you can find the store at www.ConestogaValley.org/shop. I also want to explain the benefits of this program.
Property tax reform is back in the news, after the Senate Finance Committee narrowly passed Senate Bill 76, which would largely replace property taxes with higher state sales and income taxes. Our school board and I agree that Pennsylvania relies too much on property taxes to fund education. But any change is not necessarily progress.
We have been here before, and it is worth reiterating my concerns about the process. Ill-considered reforms can lead to a loss of local control, an increase in collection costs and a more regressive state tax code.
Over the summer, I tweeted some news about the Lancaster County Academy with the intention to elaborate on the issue when I returned to regular blogging.
The Academy, or LCA, celebrated its 20th anniversary last school year. It is a business and education partnership funded voluntarily by school districts across Lancaster County to help students who lacked success in traditional school to turn their lives around. In those two decades, it has graduated more than 700 students. Check out some of their stories from this year’s graduation.
Bucksin Briefs is back! After a summer away, I am pleased to be back to my regular blogging schedule. Again this year, I hope to post in this space at least once a week on topics that are often wider than our day-to-day school news. My goal is to foster dialogue on issues that effects students, teachers and schools in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and across the country. When appropriate, I also use this space to explain some of the tough decisions our school board and administration make throughout the year.
This week, I want to address a sleepy topic—when our school starts in the morning. Our local paper first sounded the alarm about the topic in an editorial last week and may cover the topic more extensively in the future.
At CV’s 56th Commencement a week ago, I was honored to present 342 diplomas to members of the Class of 2014 and particularly proud to recognize the students who graduated with honors. One of these top students is Karissa Chow; you may have read about her in the paper. She is a role model for her classmates. And she is a high school dropout.
If that sounds odd to you, you do not work with the state Department of Education.
There were times over the past winter that we thought we may never arrive at next week’s signauture event to the school year: Conestoga Valley’s 56th Commencement, when we award diplomas to members of the Class of 2014.
At our School Board’s meeting on May 19, Honorary Chair Jere Brown, CV Class of 1970 and member of both our Sports Hall of Fame and the CV Distinguished Alumni, reported on the progress of the Buckskin Boosters capital campaign, which, to date, has secured more than $1 million in confirmed pledges, in-kind gifts and other funds. Campaign leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to ongoing fundraising efforts. Not only have individuals and groups made monetary pledges, but local businesses have offered in-kind services that were deducted from our needs that went out to bid; in fact one gift was valued at more than $25,000. As a district goal, the capital campaign has been a new venture for not only our district, but for public schools in general. We thank all of the folks who have been involved and continue to be involved in moving this campaign forward.